NUS GAI - Asian Cities Projects

Asian Cities - Projects


Asian Cities as Centers of Global Modernity

This is a trans-disciplinary research project to come up with a framework for the analysis of Asian cities, based on the idea of global modernity. The novelty of the current phase of modernity, the 'global modernity', is in the fact that the elements and models of modernity are for the first time actively coming from non-western centres as well, thus undermining the distinction between the West and the rest. Asian societies and their centres of institutional development are now capable of contributing to the condition and project of modernity on the global scale. This leads to the condition of polycentricity, as opposed to the concentration of centres in only one region of cultural area.

The most striking element in this picture is the rise of the new cities based in Asia that can claim to be exemplars of universalized polycentric modernity. Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, to name but a few most obvious candidates are not any longer representative of an alternative, exotic modernity of the "East". They are globally modern, as they already serve, in many aspects of planning, governance, and infrastructure, as role-models both for the developing world and for their western counterparts.

For further details, please contact:

Main Researcher

Asst Prof Misha PETROVIC

Department of Sociology, NUS


Team Members  

Prof Prasenjit DUARA

Raffles Professor of Humanities; Director, Research in Humanities and Social Sciences, NUS


 Dept of History Webpage

Assoc Prof Volker H SCHMIDT

Department of Sociology, NUS


Prof Henry YEUNG Wai-chung

Department of Geography, NUS